Townsville’s poets had the chance to learn from internationally acclaimed, award-winning slam poet Josh Cake at a one-of-a-kind workshop recently hosted by the Townsville Writers’ and Publishers’ Centre.
Josh has been the top ranked poet in the National Poetry Slam since 2019 and has performed poetry across the world including at Open Secret (Paris), Un Tubo (Siena), Passionate Tongues (Melbourne) and Thin Red Lines (Melbourne). He’s produced work for TEDx, the ABC, and the National Gallery of Victoria and takes a contemporary approach to sharing his passion with budding poets.
“There’s an old way of teaching poetry that’s very convergent, and that’s fine. But I don’t teach like that,” says Josh.
“I want everyone to be able to leave with the tools to be able to express themselves more freely.’’
Josh’s love for poetry began around 18 years ago when he was traveling in France as a Cabaret performer.
“They would have all these very different genres on the same stage and I remember just hearing poems,” he says.
“I didn’t think poetry would be a thing I would be particularly into, but I would go away with a line stuck in my head and it would nag at me.
“It was a bit annoying but in a good way.”
As he’s evolved from student to teacher, Josh has found rewards in seeing others realise their own potential.
“Like all art forms, you can feel when it’s good. When you see someone express a thought they have or have been carrying; it’s really pleasing,” Josh says.
The Townsville Writers’ and Publishers’ Centre regularly hosts guest writers for workshops and events, as well as meet-ups for writers with varying interests including Speculative Fiction, Popular Fiction, Kids Lit and pop-up events.